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Babylon Residents Flocking To Butterfly Greenhouse Hosted By Local Shopowners

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Struggling merchants in one Long Island village came up with a unique plan to attract shoppers and fund charities with butterflies. They installed a pop-up butterfly greenhouse, and people are standing in line to get inside; CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reports.

Video Transcript

- Struggling merchants in a Long Island village came up with a unique plan, attract shoppers and fund charities with butterflies. Like that? They put up a pop up butterfly greenhouse and people are standing online to get inside. CBS 2's Jennifer McLogan reports from Babylon.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: Adjacent to the historic First Presbyterian Church on Main Street in Babylon Village, three shop owners opened their interior walls. Customers are invited to walk through one door to another and into the rear courtyard they share.

- Fly.


JENNIFER MCLOGAN: Three-year-old Vaughn Gaglio is dragging his parents again to the butterfly exhibit.

VAUGHN GAGLIO: I want it to fly over.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: The sponge paintbrush is soaked in banana, coconut, and fruit punch to attract the Painted Ladies, relatives of the Monarch. 125 such butterflies are living in the greenhouse dormant until temperatures reach 75 degrees. Then they show off.

JEN ITZKIN: We're learning the life cycle of the butterflies, and it's an environment that you wouldn't have naturally on Long Island.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: The attraction costs $5 a person, but the fees are not for the sponsoring stores says Joseph DeBello, owner of Hitch.

JOSEPH DEBELLO: We're raising money for charity. We're not really making money off the greenhouse. But hopefully when they come here, they shop our stores.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: The exhibit also has larvae and caterpillars says Babylon Mercantile's Melissa Michael.

MELISSA MICHAEL: It's about education. It's about fun.

THERESA RIBARICH: The giving back and the warm, fuzzy feelings that everybody is experiencing.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: The Painted Ladies live just weeks to months. So the greenhouse may have to be restocked with butterflies for the duration of the pop up.

- See them?

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: Butterfly proceeds go to local food pantries, animal shelters, and childhood mental health. It takes a village. From Babylon, Long Island, Jennifer McLogan, CBS 2 News.